Sunday, May 15, 2022

It Really Does Matter

 Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

It Really Does Matter

Another Mother's Day

has come and gone

no word from the two I've born

no text, no call

no card or bouquet at all

makes me sad

and tears do fall

they are better than this

they really are

but without a man to mentor

they've failed the biggest test of all

The man, my husband

once yelled

 when asked why?

"Don't look at me. You're not my mother."

then the tears did fall

each year the pain does lessen

from this sharp arrow to the heart


maybe anon

they'll truly understand

and be better champions

to the little ones

and the women that make them



Yolanda Renee © 2022

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

WEP - A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

 It's that time again. 

A new challenge was posted by the gals at the WEP. Write...Edit...Publish

Flash fiction at it's best! Are you game?

Then join the fun!


A Hard Rain

She gazes and sighs

at the angry clouds

the surprisingly calm ocean

and the horizon so far

A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall

she questions her motives

is she validated

or just an attention seeker

all she wants

is freedom


a life less hidden

but to achieve that goal

others will suffer

many will shake their heads

and say, what’d you expect

the girl's been off balance

her entire life

never did know

when she had it good

always seeking

never satisfied

I swear

even in death

she'll look for a third option

unsatisfied with Heaven

or Hell…

Yolanda Renee © 2022


Your turn, just give it a try. 

A poem, a short story, flash fiction, or another artistic expression!

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall has been described as the ‘most idiosyncratic protest song ever written.’ Bob Dylan, the Nobel Laureate and another 60's icon, wrote, composed and sung it in 1962 when he was only 21. It’s been covered by many artistes including Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and has never really stopped being sung ever since. Dylan has sold  more than 125 million records/albums making him one of the most popular artistes of all time.  

The form is modelled on the traditional ballad in the question and answer format, the themes being human suffering – pollution, warfare, isolation, angst. Sixty years after Dylan presented it at a performance at Carnegie Hall, the lyrics are striking in that how relevant they are still, how contemporary their feel and the depth of their appeal. Read more about the song here and here.

This one is wide open to all kinds of interpretations. Because human suffering – it’s as wide, deep and long as life is, of a trillion takes potential.

Use it to zoom in on our current ‘hard rain’ of covid. Chisel out your own pandemic flash from what’s going on around you.

Or weave a tale of some other woe – bleeding hammers, broken tongues, dead oceans, homes in the valley meeting damp, dirty prisons. The lyrics are epic, apocalyptic and offer rich pickings. Set your tale around the climate issues; the refugee crisis; the endless hardships that the hard rains of bullets and bombs, volcanic eruptions, oil spills have brought.

Or bypass all the bleakness and melancholy and simply spin a conversation between a parent and a child on some deep life issue. Or a light-hearted one. A million directions to go. The possibilities are endless.

 A freehand is what we give you,  you give the song a listen and see what happens...

Copied from the WEP Challenges page



Monday, April 18, 2022

Murder! Mystery! Mayhem! & CassaDark By Alex J. Cavanaugh

 Welcome, Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of a new space opera, CassaDark. He's here to discuss the elements that make his current book a fitting read for all readers even those that love a good murder mystery. Please, take it away Alex!

Murder! Mystery! Mayhem!


Wait a minute…my book is science fiction, space opera/adventure. Nobody is murdered. There’s no mystery to solve. Mayhem? Hmm…maybe my book does have those elements.


All right, there isn’t an out-and-out murder. No police or detectives are involved. But there are people being killed. In a way that is hidden to the rest of the galaxy. Many live in a world where death lurks around every corner. And people do die. Maybe not murder, but death happens. (Of course, people on the planet kill one another, so that technically is murder.)


Mystery…actually, for the main character, there is a lot. Bassan is a bit naïve. He believes even as he doubts. He begins to see things are not as he assumed. There are mysteries to unravel—what is the truth? So, there is a bit of mystery.


Now, mayhem. There is a lot of that! Bassan is sent across the galaxy. He gets dumped on a strange planet. People try to kill him. And the people he’s with. His future is completely in disarray. Dogs and cats, living together—mass hysteria! No wait, that’s Ghostbusters. But you get the idea. There is a lot of upheaval and peril, and Bassan is put through the wringer.


So, I guess CassaDark does have a lot of those mystery elements. Who knew?


Alex J. Cavanaugh works in web design and graphics, and he plays guitar in a Christian band. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is known as Ninja Captain Alex and he’s the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.




By Alex J. Cavanaugh


His world is unraveling…


Bassan’s father is stepping down from command. His best friend almost dies when Bassan freezes. Now, he’s being sent across the galaxy to speak at an important conference. Despite saving the eleven races years ago, he’s paralyzed by fear and doubt. Could things get any worse?

Once there, new acquaintance Zendar convinces Bassan to visit his planet for a humanitarian mission. Bassan’s special connection to ancient technology is the key to saving Zendar’s people. One problem though—it’s a prisoner planet.


On Ugar, he discovers things aren’t so straightforward. As each secret reveals itself, the situation grows more desperate. If he can’t find the right answers, he might die along with Zendar’s people. Can Bassan summon the courage to be a hero again?


Released on–April 6, 2022

$16.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 226 pages

Science fiction - Adventure (FIC028010) / Space Opera (FIC028030) / Space Exploration (FIC028130)

Print ISBN 9781939844842 / Ebook ISBN 9781939844859

$4.99 Ebook available in all format

Buy Links:

iTunes –

Amazon –

Barnes & Noble –

Kobo –

Scribed –

Goodreads -


Thanks so much, Alex, for allowing me to share your exciting news!

Well folks, have you gotten your copy yet?

My Review is HERE!

Thursday, March 3, 2022



Photo by cHoLoNg cHoI on Unsplash

My heart is crushed

my mind confused

the world has imploded

And again

the Innocent pay

while the Devil, 


dances and plays

Dear God,

Please Intervene

there has to be a way

for Leaders who can,


while trying to avoid

an even more drastic peril

Ukraine the sacrifice

and the Hope of the World

Heaven forgive us

as we watch


our deficiency revealed.

Copyright 2022 Yolanda Renee

Thursday, February 3, 2022

WEP - All You Need Is Love

 WEP is proud to announce 

the Challenges for 2022

A Musical Influence

And our first challenge of the year is...

All You Need is Love,

What could be more appropriate for Valentine's than All You Need is Love, by The Beatles? (Listen to this number by clicking on the title.)

The Beatles were an iconic band formed in Liverpool, UK, in 1960 that revolutionized Western popular music. Their music was a crucial factor in the development of the 1960's counterculture. And their influence on contemporary music and performers cannot be overestimated. They are revered as the most popular band of all time. Pioneers in recording, songwriting, and presentation, the Beatles' works were pivotal to popular music being recognized as an art form in its own right. They have sold around 600 million records worldwide, their music has shaped the entire music industry of the 20th century and beyond. Read more about the Beatles and this song by clicking on the links.

 All You Need Is Love – interpret this any which way you like.

Tell us a story about lovers overcoming insurmountable odds with the power of their love.

Or spin a flash about parental love, unconditional and endless.

Or about platonic love, the support network that friends provide without which individuals can't function.

All You Need Is Love...or do you? Turn it on its head and tell us how insufficient it is to get by on love alone.

Put the words of the title into the mouth of your MC. Or a minor character. Or have it play somewhere in the background, barely noticeable...

You see, there are as many takes as there are forms of love.

Remember, there are no genre restrictions – it's unnecessary to write a traditional romance just because it's February. Interpret the prompt in the most unValentine-y manner if you like – satire, horror, fantasy, all are welcome here, except erotica.

Just sign up below starting on February 16th

And remember to have fun!

I thought I'd give it a try.


All You Need Is Love

The Beatles say

All You Need Is Love

Maybe that's true

I know I've searched

but failed to find

that deep emotion

Where did I go wrong?

part of a large family

where love was nowhere

to be found

married at eighteen

a mistake

quickly discovered

a heart shattered

when he admitted

he'd never felt a thing

tried once more,

for life, I thought

Love is what's proclaimed,

even vowed

but for some strange reason

always disavowed

I’m done searching

Love, if, it's all you need?

maybe that's why

it's such an elusive thing.

Yolanda Renee © 2022


Since I cannot participate fully, 
comments have been blocked. 
Thank you so much for visiting.
I will do my best to read all entries.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Jeremy Hawkins Tribute

To Honor Jeremy

I've reposted a blog hop that Jeremy was a huge part of.

It was one of the most successful and still very popular!

I turned comments off as I am unable, 
at this time, to participate further.

Thank you so much for stopping by!


Thank you all for your participation in this marketing symposium for  
What Works and What Doesn't.

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, and hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, Jeremy Hawkins, and me. I hope this becomes an annual event and that each year new successes are reported because of what we've all shared!

Here is my two cents!


Since my current business is writing and marketing what I write, I'll start there with my contribution. So far, what I've found is that when it comes to successfully marketing a book – the secret appears to be throwing as much money as you can at it. Buy ads, buy reviews, buy twitter friends, and hire publicists that promise for only $3000 we can make your book a best seller on Amazon. 

I know, cynical. That's why, when Arlee asked me to be part of this project I agreed. I don't have buckets of money to throw at my novels, so like most of you I am trying to do this the hard way, the way we're all told should work – build a platform, network online, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc. etc!

With all that in mind I created a page on Facebook for my novel, Murder, Madness & Love, but couldn't get the 'likes' I saw that others had, so I paid to advertise my page. I was able to get over 500 likes, but I'm almost positive those likes did not translate into sales. 

C. Hope Clark has a site called Funds for Writers and a book called The Shy Writer and I highly recommend all of it - if you're a new writer, a shy writer, or a seasoned pro!
Another positive that I've found for selling books is a review. It has always increased the sales figures, especially if posted on a blog

And in that regard, I made it my New Year's resolution to post reviews for all the books I've read. I'm behind on that goal, and I assume I always will be. Because for every book I've read and reviewed, I've added five more to my TBR list. It's an ongoing circle, but I will give it my best effort, I hope you and other readers will too!

 Have you had better success with Facebook? 
Do you find that a review increases sales?
Do you have a secret for getting readers to write a review?


In my opinion, if you're looking for success with your blog in regards to the numbers of followers and comments – a blog fest is the quickest way to meet new bloggers. The catch is in the commenting. When I get busy and can't reach all my favorites, I see the number of comments drop on my posts too. 

Another catch 22 because time is a valuable commodity and commenting takes a lot of time. The two most successful people I've seen are Alex J Cavanaugh, our Ninja captain, and Pat Hatt at It's Rhyme Time. Both are very successful with not only posting regularly, but they both respond to the commenters on their site while visiting other sites too. I am in awe gentlemen!

As well as paying to advertise my books FB page, I've also tried boosting (paying to advertise) blog posts, especially guest posts and book reviews. Facebook claims I had several thousand viewers for each post I boosted and the numbers all depend on how much you're willing to spend. Again I wasn't sure those viewers actually viewed the blog post. 

My opportunity to find out happened when I posted on Arlee's blog, I paid for a boost on Facebook and told Arlee what I was doing. Arlee said he saw an increase in the readers to that particular post, but it was nowhere close to the numbers that Facebook reported. My conclusion, I may have just wasted more of my hard-earned money.

What about you, have you boosted a blog on FB page and seen results?


I recently read another news report about a bookkeeper brought up on embezzlement charges. These stories always upset me because this kind of crime is so easy to avoid. As a former accountant I'm going to address that here even though it's not about marketing success or failure, but it is about successful management. Most all of the companies involved aren't large, most are churches, fire stations, car dealerships, etc. But the money stolen is huge!

So my advice to all business owners especially the small or not for profit, but truthfully - ANY BUSINESS - do not, and I'll repeat myself – DO NOT give one individual total access to your cash, your bank accounts, any of your funds! 

If you have an accountant, its fine to allow them be a signer on the bank accounts, but make sure, you, as CEO, owner, manager, or boss, are the second signer! Any check can be designed with two signature lines – and this is easily arranged with your bank. 

Also, when you sign those checks make sure that all the back-up paperwork is there!  Each check has to have an invoice and you should recognize the Payee. Know who your creditors are and ask questions when something looks odd. 

Again, I'll repeat myself - NEVER – EVER give one person signatory rights! I don't care if the person doing your books is someone you've known all your life or trust implicitly! 

Also, if you are the accountant or bookkeeper – no matter what company you're working for, insist on two signatures. This is your first line of defense too!

Consider doing an audit. It sounds expensive but like all things there are different types of audits with different costs, and if you can't afford to do it annually, do it at least every two years. The best way to keep someone from ripping you off is to make sure your books are checked regularly and that all your employees know this. If you're a small non profit, get volunteers to do the audit - everyone knows at least one accountant. Or barter for it!

Don't let anyone, even someone you trust have that kind of financial control
Okay I'm off my soap box.

That's it, my contribution to 
What Works and What Doesn't. 
I look forward to reading yours and learning something new. 
Thank you for participating!

Click HERE for the list of other participants!

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Monday, January 3, 2022

2022 Is A Blank Page

 Everyone has a story. What's yours?

Photo by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash

I'm taking a break to explore mine...

See you in February for the WEP challenge.

Please Join Us!